Thursday, June 4, 2009

All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All

The trees and gardens of the temple

Barbara and the pretty flowers

The scenic byway at the Temple

Every plant, bush and tree is decked out in its finest display of vibrant colored flowers at the moment and we are relishing the breathtaking site of all of nature's finery each morning and evening as we walk the London Temple grounds. It has become a tradition that we enjoy each day to walk either the one mile route around the outside fence of the grounds (three times) or the half mile route around the pond and garden buildings (six times). It is salvation for us to walk, talk, and meditate in these beautiful grounds as we start and end each day. The grounds closest to the temple are perfectly manicured with many artistically displayed flower beds, dark blue reflective ponds, massive green maple and oak trees, colorful varieties of bushes, and hage expanses of dark green lawns. The outermost parts of this 32 acre parcel of ground is landscaped in a more relaxed manner.

I have just finished reading a book about the history of the London England Temple which was built between 1955-1958 and the old Manor House which stands on this property also. In this book, the author explains that after the Temple was completed the Church employed a landscape designer to landscape the massive 32 acre property. He was not a member of the LDS Church. He asked for some literature on the history of the Church and the importance of the Temple to the Latter-Day Saints. He read the story of Joseph Smith and the experience in the Sacred Grove in upper New York State. He then designed the surrounding tree planting at the London Temple based upon the role that the sacred grove plays in our history. Trees of oak, ash, birch, maple, and hawthorn were planted to create a woodland effect with paths, quiet groves, and glades each giving a differnt viewpoint of the Temple through open swathes of grassland. This is all designed to keep one's focus on the Temple as one traverses the peacefulness of the grounds. We have felt that peace and solitude here as we have lived and worked here for the previous nine months.

We are now down to our final week and half until we leave here to travel with our sons, Britt and Brice, for a few days before coming home. Many are the wonderful memories we will retain of this memorable spot in one of the most gorgeous areas of Great Britain. We have received many blessings as we have tried to serve honorably here at the Visitors' Centre. We now look forward to home and renewing friendships with those we love there.